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South Africa and 46 other destinations to be cut from UK red list

FORTY-SEVEN destinations, including South Africa, to be removed from UK red list from October 11. Picture: ThePixelMan Pixabay

FORTY-SEVEN destinations, including South Africa, to be removed from UK red list from October 11. Picture: ThePixelMan Pixabay

Published Oct 7, 2021


SOUTH Africans and UK travellers to South Africa are rejoicing, after Secretary of State for Transport of the UK Grant Shapps announced that South Africa and 46 other destinations will be off the red list from Monday, October 11.

Passengers returning to England from these destinations will no longer be required to enter hotel quarantine.

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“Eligible travellers, vaccinated in more than 37 new countries and territories, including Brazil, Ghana, Hong Kong, India, Pakistan, South Africa, and Turkey, will also be treated the same as returning fully vaccinated UK residents, so long as they have not visited a red list country or territory in the 10 days before arriving in England.

“Eligible fully vaccinated passengers and eligible under-18s, returning from countries and territories not on the red list, can do so with just a day two test.

“Other passengers, who are not fully vaccinated with an authorised vaccine, returning from a non-red destination, must still take a pre-departure test, a day two and day eight test, and complete 10 days of self-isolation (with the option of Test to Release on day five),” revealed on its website.

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Unfortunately, seven destinations, including Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela, will remain on the list.

On the decision, Shapps said: “With half-term and winter sun around the corner, we’re making it easier for families and loved ones to reunite, by significantly cutting the number of destinations on the red list, thanks in part to the increased vaccination efforts around the globe.

“Restoring people’s confidence in travel is key to rebuilding our economy and levelling up this country. With less restrictions and more people travelling, we can all continue to move safely forward together, along our pathway to recovery.”

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Also commenting, health and social care secretary Sajid Javid, said: “Our robust border measures have helped protect the phenomenal progress of our vaccination programme, and it is because of this success – both here and around the world – that we can safely open up travel further, and we can visit friends and family abroad.

We’re now making it easier and cheaper for people to travel, by allowing fully vaccinated travellers, from non-red list countries, to use lateral flow tests on day two of arrival, as long as they provide proof of use.“

Sigh of relief

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Reports of South Africa coming off the red list surfaced earlier this week, with the industry confident that the country would be removed from the list.

South Africa has been a top destination for UK travellers for years. As per Stats SA, the UK topped the overseas visitor list for South Africa, in both 2019 and 2020.

The South African travel industry has been lobbying for the country's removal from the red list. There has also been a petition by Ben Cope to remove South Africa from the travel red list. It has since garnered thousands of signatures.

Read the latest edition of IOL Travel here: